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“My Hero Academia” Studio Unveils New Tech Noir Anime Potentially a Sleeper Hit

by Lidia Lucovic

The self-proclaimed “tech noir” anime, Metallic Rouge, presents a multitude of intriguing concepts accompanied by a highly talented creative team, rendering it a production worth closely monitoring. Its Blade Runner-inspired narrative, coupled with BONES’ exceptional animation expertise, hints at a dark yet stylish spectacle. With Crunchyroll already secured for streaming rights, all that remains is the anticipation for the visual aesthetics and action sequences it will present.

The preview clips and plot synopsis portray Metallic Rouge as a sci-fi gem reminiscent of the classics. BONES, in itself, is amplifying the notion of a genre homage, emphasizing on the collaborative history of the team, dating back 19 years to the cult classic mecha series, RahXephon. Undoubtedly, the tale of an interplanetary manhunt promises to stand out amidst the array of offerings this season.

On the official website of Metallic Rouge, the provided synopsis unfolds as follows: “In a world where humans and androids coexist, Rouge, an android girl, and her partner Naomi embark on a mission on Mars. The objective: to eliminate nine androids hostile to the government.” The teasers released to date offer a glimpse into what awaits the audience: some depict a woman donned in power armor engaging in combat with similarly enhanced figures, while others showcase the dynamics between the two primary protagonists as they traverse the gritty industrial landscape that Mars has transformed into. The series truly embodies its description as “tech noir,” encapsulating a dark, grimy ambiance.

The concept of a woman engaged in a pursuit against non-humans charmingly pays homage to cult classics from the 80s. The evocation of the short-lived yet adored Bubblegum Crisis, featuring female bounty hunters confronting rogue “boomers,” and Armitage III, a 4-episode OVA delving into machines in disguise, is palpable. Pushing the boundaries further, one could draw parallels to Birdy the Mighty or Gunm/Battle Angel Alita, portraying formidable women combatting high-tech threats. In the intervening decades, such robust female characters have become scarce, underscoring why Metallic Rouge appears to serve as both a throwback and a contemporary successor.

As highlighted, considerable emphasis is placed on the notable team assembled for the production. At the forefront is Yutaka Izubuchi, a prominent mecha designer serving as the anime’s chief director. His last collaboration with BONES was on “RahXephon” in 2002. Working in collaboration with Izubuchi is director Motonobu Hori, screenwriter Toshizo Nemoto, character designer Toshihiro Kawamoto, and composer Taisei Iwasaki. This team boasts extensive experience, having contributed to diverse sci-fi projects in the past, including the renowned “Cowboy Bebop.” Crunchyroll has formally confirmed the inclusion of the series on their streaming platform upon its premiere in January 2024.

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